Studying species and systems Studying species and systems

We address fundamental evolutionary and ecological questions by studying a variety of species and systems in both the lab and the field.

We focus on understanding adaptations simultaneously at the gene and whole-organism level, and on applying sound scientific principles to tackling pressing issues in conservation.

Our facilities include excellent molecular labs, an extensive ‘Constant Environment Facility' and a wealth of excellent local and global ecological resources.

We welcome enquiries from prospective PhD students, postdocs and fellows. We also run a successful MSc in Applied Ecology and Conservation.


Academic staff

Theme leader: Dr Alexei Maklakov
Biology of Ageing
Life-History Evolution
Sexual Selection and Sexual Conflict



DIain Barr 

Conservation and ecology
Ecology of birds and bats
Parasitology of wild birds  


Dr Diana Bell

Biodiversity conservation
Wildlife diseases
Wildlife trade


Professor Andrew Bourke 

Social evolution and kin-selected conflict
Differential gene expression in caste determination in social insects
Conservation ecology and genetics of social insects


Dr Simon Butler 

Ecology and conservation in agroecosystems
Land-use change impacts on biodiversity and ecosystem services
Indicator species selection


Professor Tracey Chapman

The genetic basis of sexual conflict
Identification, functions & fitness effects of male seminal fluid accessory gland proteins in insects
The mechanisms underlying links between reproduction and longevity


Dr Richard Davies 

Ecological and evolutionary mechanisms for biodiversity distribution
Anthropogenic environmental gradients and conservation biology
Functional diversity and community assembly


Professor Anthony Davy 

Population biology and physiological ecology of halophytes
Ecology of wetlands and coastal systems
Ecological restoration and reconstruction


Dr Lynn Dicks
Sustainable management of agricultural landscapes




Evolution of sperm form and function
Sperm competition dynamics in insects, fishes and mammals
Sexual selection and sexual conflict


Ecology and evolution of migratory systems
Large-scale population responses to environmental change
Impacts of climate change on coastal biodiversity


Dr Matt Hutchings

Signal transduction pathways in the streptomycetes and mycobacteria
How bacteria sense and respond to cell envelope stress
Processing, structure and function of cell surface proteins


Dr Simone Immler
The genetic basis of sexual reproduction
Epigenetic trans-generational inheritance
Sexual selection and sexual conflict


Dr Jen Perry

Evolutionary conflict
Sexual selection and coevolution
Sex differences in diet choice and nutrition


Professor David S Richardson
The evolution of cooperative breeding
Sexual selection and sperm competition
Ageing in natural populations: Telomeres as biomarkers of costs and quality


Dr Lewis Spurgin 
The genetics of ecological adaptation
Population demography and evolutionary change
Evolutionary biology and pest management



Fisheries genetics
Evolution of mimicry
Drivers of whole genome duplication in fishes


Cooperation and cheating in mutualisms
Tropical ecology and conservation
Human behaviour